Bishop and Curtis families of East Brent were active in many aspects of parish life. Many of their descendants still live in the Brent Knoll, East Brent, Lympsham and Rooksbridge area
Now living in Gloucester, Marlyn Truckle-Whattley is researching her family tree. She has traced her family back to the 1700's. and has passed the results of her research to me for inclusion in the Genealogy database
Marlyn would welcome any information or memories of the Bishop and Curtis families. Especially regards to her Grandparents, Ernest and Edith Bishop (nee Curtis) of "The Lilac's" Burton Row East Brent.
During our exchanges Marlyn has passed on a lot of information and stories about the families and much of this is reproduced here with Marlyn's kind permission.
And also with thanks to the late Alec Dyte of Brent Knoll.
Marlyn is the daughter of Derrick and Gwendoline Mary Trego. (nee Bishop). Her father Derrick came from Weston Super Mare.
Her grandparents were Ernest and Edith Bishop. (nee Curtis).
Her great grandparents were William and Catherine Elizabeth Curtis.
Her G. G. grandparents were George and Bessie Bishop.
Marlyn's grandparents Ernest and Edith Bishop lived in "The Lilacs" Burton Row. East Brent, as did three generations of the Bishop family.
Many of the Bishop family were born and lived at "The Lilacs". George Bishop and his wife Fanny were living there when their son John was born in 1816.
Ernest Bishop was a Lead Driver in the Royal Horse Artillery in World War One. So we can assume he was born sometime in the late 1800's?
During the 1914-18 war he saw action Egypt, Italy and Africa. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star - British War and Victory medals.
Ernie "Did Ditches and things" He was hard working and well respected. He worked as an Agricultural contractor for local farmers and the River board.
A devout Methodist, both he and his father Walter Bishop were organists at East Brent Chapel. It is also thought that his father Walter was once minister there.
Ernest at one time, was responsible for climbing the Knoll and raising the flag. And when called upon would volunteer along with others to- 'Clean-up' after the 'Horse-racing' at Brent Knoll!
Ernie being quite religious, had a beautiful organ at his home and his grandchildren hated going to visit on a Sunday. Ernie would hold a 'Service' which the kids found boring!
He was quite a character and a man of many talents. He was keen on West country History and Natural History and was a self taught artist. His paintings sold around the world.
A painting of 'Nut Tree Farm' by Ernest Bishop
Which is thought to be the last thatched cottage in East Brent
Photo: Marlyn Truckle-Whattley
Ernest Bishop and his wife Edith, never owned a car. They were well known for cycling everywhere. Even to Scotland for a holiday with a tent on the back of the bike!
Edith had a bad accident on her bike in the 50's and so they were unable to cycle long distances after that. However they still rode locally, to the local Post office etc. to draw their pensions.
It was on one of their regular visits to East Brent Post Office that while Edith was inside and Ernest waited outside with the bikes, that Ernest had a massive heart attack and was dead before Edith could get outside!
A sad end to such a well liked and talented man.
Clerk to East Brent Parish Council for more than 30 years until her retirement of short time ago, Mrs Rosa Chivers of Brent Knoll, has acquired a painting which shows what she thinks may well have been the last thatched roof building in East Brent, she writes:
“Recently an oil painting of Nut Tree Farm, East Brent has come into my possession. It was painted by the late Mr Ernest Bishop of Burton Row, Brent Knoll. The painting shows a thatched farmhouse which is most attractive. You will not find this farm anywhere in the Parish today for this building was burnt to the ground. A farm does stand on the same site, although it is comparatively modern and is known by another name. It would seem that this was the last building with a thatched roof in East Brent and maybe within quite a large area . Even today some farms and cottages had traces of the Thatch under their tiles.
As clerk to East Brent Parish Council for more than 30 years, I have many memories East Brent Rooksbridge and Edingworth. It is probably unique in Parish Council history for their to have been only four Clerks to a Parish Council from 1894 to 1976 from 2 families: first was Mr W Hutson followed by his son Mr E E Hutson and then my father Mr G E Gunniman Hudson and then in 1945 by myself, although during the period I did change my name”
Rosa feels that the Knoll itself is a very famous landmark. From time immemorial it has been famous in some way, it was certainly a hill fort. What stories it could tell. It is known to had been inhabited in earlier times, and there are several legends of king Arthur been in the neighbourhood.
To stand on the Knoll and gaze at the surrounding countryside gives one a feeling of timelessness and one can imagine days of people living in thatched cottages and even may be in mud huts!